Michael Vreeland (20733)
Virginia State Director
Wow what a great summer, tons of rallies and time with my fellow Newmarians and Wheelers. What is not to like. The Virginia State Rally was held at the Americamps RV Resort in Ashland, Virginia, September 29-October 3; it was a huge success. I seem to remember being hoisted up and on the shoulders of rally attendees and we all marched around the rally room hollering RALLY! RALLY! RALLY! Unfortunately, when they were tossing me up into the air again and again, they missed the catch and I fell to the floor, which woke me up. Yeah, I know but what a dream. We really did have great time at the rally.
So, get ready to add a few pounds from just reading this article. We had three waffle breakfasts, one fruit and continental breakfast hosted by SkyMed, one BBQ dinner from Kings BBQ with all the trimmings, one fried Chicken dinner with all the trimmings hosted by Americamps, one Filet Mignon dinner with all the trimmings at a local restaurant, another Filet Mignon and scallop dinner from a local food truck. Americamps had a funnel cake and icee truck come in for free food as well. Finally, we had an Ice Cream social (all you can eat) after the food truck. Of course, everyone had selections beside Filet Mignon, but I did say Filet Mignon so that was all I read and ordered. So bottom line, attendees ate well and are trying to work off the extra pounds.
The Virginia State Fair was just a few miles down the road and a number of attendees went and really enjoyed the pig races, people watching and oh yeah, the food. I typically do not add many excursions at a rally for no other reason than most other rallies have them, and I just wanted a chance to talk and visit with my fellow Wheelers. As it turns out there was a lot of kicking back and swapping lies so everyone got a chance to decompress and have some good old fashion fun.
We had several first-time attendees at this rally, which is a great thing. We had a family from Michigan (Mike, Melody, and Jackson Bauer), and this was their first excursion in a brand new Super C. They had a great time and Jackson was a big hit with everyone. No doubt rallying is in their future. We had my fellow Sea Turtles Bill & Eileen Berg attend. We had Jack Grasmeder an SOB attendee; he was Margie & Nick Mangus’ dad. He too really enjoyed the rally. We had several other first time attendees: Anthony & Heather Gallo, Larry & Kathy Nolan, and Mike & Tipper Bradford. If I missed someone, I will apologize for that now. We also had quite a few other Wheelers attending. To all that attended this rally, I want to thank you all. I really enjoyed seeing and rallying with you.
Of course, we had the internationally renowned “Name the TV Show Game” with attendees hoping to win the much coveted “TV Dog” award. Unfortunately, the threshold of correct answers was not broken so I still remain the reigning “TV Dog.” Although I said I would hand out multiple-choice sheets since the questions may be “too hard” I decided the “TV Dog” award needed to be won the hard way. You will have another chance at the next state rally, more info to follow. The winning team did get gift cards as a consolation prize. We also played card bingo, which was a big hit especially with the new attendees. They loved the game and as it always happens several won. Not sure how that happens, but it seems first time attendees bring their luck with them. We played the game on two different nights by popular demand. We also played Left Right Center dice game. Everyone really enjoyed the games.
We had a bunch of door prizes like Frog Togg rain gear, foam fire extinguishers, meat thermometer, flashlight, knee pads, etc. Everyone got a door prize. But the big surprise was the welcome bags. They were packed with goodies some of which I had to explain and show folks how they worked – no really. The gripper sticks, grill mats, and collapsible trivets seem to be a challenge. Someone suggested the trivet was a practice throwing star – I can see how they got there. I had several attendees say this was one of the best welcome bag they have every gotten so that was very satisfying. I love giving stuff in a welcome bag that I know attendees will enjoy using. I make is a rule that I do not get door prizes that I would not like and I put stuff in the welcome bag that I use or would like to use.
We had a “changing of the guard” ceremony where Danny & Jeanette, who have had an officer position in the Virginia Wheels since 2007 and have been President since 2015, turned over the reins to Tom & Gloria Rezentes who are now the new Virginia Wheels Presidents. Thanks to both Danny & Jeanette for their long years of service to the Wheels and the NKK and to Tom & Gloria for taking up the mantle and running with it. Additionally, Tommy & Becky Rygiel have stepped up to the Vice Presidents position. I would like to thank Ron & Ulaine for continuing as Treasurer and Secretary. Their support in these positions have been crucial for Virginia Wheels continued operations. So a special thanks to Ron & Ulaine. Bottom line, thanks to you all from all of us Wheelers. If you watched Hee Haw here is your “Salute.”
A couple days after the rally I was on the road to Freightliner at Gaffney for yearly service. I still have not been able to get service under $1,500. Oh well, need to do it yearly to reduce the chance that I will be one of those RVs on the side of the road. So do your service.
After that, I headed to the Region Five Rally in Dillard, Georgia a couple days early. I am currently writing this article at the rally so I can submit it by the deadline. The rally has been great, good weather and great time visiting with old friends and Newmarians. As is typically the case, first time attendee to any rally and new to the Virginia Wheels Robert & Nancy Brown won the grand prize – a Dometic freezer for the bay. Something about being a first-time attendee as I noted earlier – we have all seen them win drawings. Not a bad way to start off your Rving adventure down the highway of life.
We had some great food and several meals were served on real plates and silverware. I mentioned to Gary the food was free but the china is what cost – just saying. We had a cornhole tournament, which was a lot of fun. There were metals for the top three winning teams. We also had a live band after one of the dinners, which was pretty cool. There was a lot of local activities – a festival was going on and of course sightseeing. All in all, a lot to do and see.
Oh well, guess that is it for now. Everyone enjoy your holidays with family, I know I will. Have a piece of mincemeat pie for me. To all my fellow Newmarians, travel safe, and I hope to see you soon. Rally On!
Safe travels to all and Happy RVing. I can be reached at beagleRV@gmail.com or 540-809-9830.